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16 Artists To Watch In 2016  was originally published on

1. NAO


You need to be listening to British singer NAO, right now. In late 2014, NAO released her debut EP “So Good” and followed up less than a year later with her soulful “February 15” EP. NAO worked with UK soul singer Kwabs, and she was also featured on Disclosure’s “Caracal” album. Her songs “Bad Blood” & “Zillionaire” have racked up over 1 million spins on SoundCloud. ——–

SONG TO HEAR: “Bad Blood”

2. Belly


Continuing to ride the Toronto takeover, meet Palestinian-born rapper Belly. Responsible for penning The Weeknd’s “Earned It” & other “Beauty Behind The Madness” songs, Belly is positioning himself not only as a legitimate rapper, but also a fierce songwriter. Both talents got him a deal with Roc Nation & now he’s dropping his debut LP in 2016. ——–

SONG TO HEAR: “Might Not” feat. The Weeknd

3. Alessia Cara

Alessia Cara

Canadian singer/songwriter Alessia virtually came out of nowhere, but we like that she’s here (pun intended). The self-proclaimed “anti-social pessimist” released “Here” in April & her debut LP in November. While “Here” is her most notable song, she has more to offer than introverted pop songs. ——-


4. Cool Amerika

Cool Amerika

Cool Amerika is the hip-hop duo that’ll warm your heart & the dance floor. The longtime friends met in high school and started making music together. After working the nightclub scene in Atlanta, Cool Amerika’s “Make Sum Shake” became a strip club anthem. Between their energy and infectious jams, Cool Amerika is set to take America by storm – wild style. ———

SONG TO HERE: “Make Sum Shake”

5. Eryn Allen Kane

Eryn Allen Kane

Detroit native Eryn Allen Kane caught our attention when she started collaborating with Chance The Rapper and the Save Money Crew. Her intensely soulful voice eventually caught the attention of Prince, who asked Eryn to sing background on his protest song “Baltimore.” In November, Eryn released her debut EP Aviary: Act 1. She also co-starred in Spike Lee’s polarizing film “Chi-Raq.” —-

SONG TO HEAR: “Have Mercy”

6. Tory Lanez

Tory Lanez

There’s something in the water in Canada. We’ve been hearing mentions of Toronto native Tory Lanez for years now, but it wasn’t until he released his breakout single “Say It” that we knew he was a real talent. He’s written songs for everyone from August Alsina to Akon and everyone in between. In 2015, he released his third project “Cruel Intentions.” His debut LP is due out 2016. ——


7. Kamaiyah


More over world, here comes Kamaiyah. Bay Area artist Kamaiyah garnered our attention when her “How Does It Feel” video went viral on the ‘net. As the first lady of Oakland’s Big Money Gang, Kamaiyah is as gritty as Oakland can get and as nostalgic as 40 ounces & Reebok track suits. Between Kamaiyah’s classic Bay Area sound and catchy melodies, 2016 may be her year to blow. —–

SONG TO HEAR: “How Does It Feel”

8. Anderson .Paak

Anderson .Paak

We love Anderson .Paak. The Cali native’s no newcomer to releasing dope projects. Back in 2012, he released his debut project under the moniker Breezy Lovejoy. Since then he’s dropped an album & three EPs. Not to mention, he assisted Dr. Dre on his acclaimed “Compton” album. In 2016, he’s set to drop the follow up to “Venice” with his new album “Malibu.” —–


9. PNB Rock

PNB Rock

Philly artist PNB Rock’s been posting music on SoundCloud for over two years and it’s finally paying off. The 23-year-old artist recently inked a deal with Atlantic Records and released his new project “RNB 3” which features contributions by Fetty Wap, Sonny Digital, and Justice L.E.A.G.U.E. —–

SONG TO HEAR: “Feelin’ Like Diddy”

10. Abra


As the first lady of Atlanta newcomer Father’s Awful Records, Abra has been creating her own path. The London-born, Atlanta-raised artist is offering a minimalist sound with an alternative R&B twist. You can catch Abra on tour with “Cha Cha” crooner D.R.A.M. —–